Sunday, December 27, 2020

 Kind of a mess made from leftovers and culinary heritage, it worked damned deliciously.

Leftover rigatoni, a few leftover cheese tortellini, scraps of meatloaf, last of the fresh mushrooms and some grilled chicken strips. Combined with shredded carrots, lettuce, green onions, and a can of great northern beans. Various seasonings, and a few spoonfuls of gravy leftover from the meatloaf.

My mother often made beans and elbow macaroni. What she dubbed Italian peasant food, and what I dubbed delicious. Once in a while she also made spinach and beans. Thinking of these, and being rather in the mood for the latter, I opted to make a mess inspired by those meals of my childhood. Both are excellent delivery vehicles for grated Parmesan cheese.

Oddly, the carrots and green onions were something that rarely found there way into such meals. But being the one in front of the sauce pan, I get to pick what goes in 😋.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Signs that this iPhone thing is going to workout:

  • Use of three and four letter expletives to describe messaging from my phone is down by 90%, effectively now at the level of autocorrect.
  • Use of same to describe messaging from my tablet is now down 70%, and is no longer filled with pain and agony whenever I do more than type.
  • I haven’t felt the urge to break the damned thing.
Part of the value here also lay in the use cases. Typically my tablet screen on time can be measured in hours per day. More if I’m using it, less if I’m mesmerized by some video game or book or Netflix or whatever. By contrast my phone screen on time can probably be measured in tens of minutes per day, unless someone sends me a lot of text messages in the middle of the night.

Which is a pretty stark contrast to years past, where I used my phone pretty significantly. Over the past five years or so, Android’s evolution and my usage patterns basically killed my phone use in favor of tablet use the rest of the way. While the transition to iPadOS was rather rocky, given my heavy demands in tablet: the transition to iOS has mostly been trivial.

You could say that my life around Android largely caused me to bypass the long ass wait for decency in iOS features, after eons of going “Huh, how the frak have people lived without that all these years?” whenever a new iOS release happens. Likewise the tablet use killing phone use, basically means I don’t give a frak. Jelly Bean was still a thing when I used my phone heavy enough to care as much about my phone, as my tablet keeping pace with my computing needs. So by now, iOS easily handles my demands upon a phone and mostly fits my demands upon a tablet or desktop.

Sigh. Here’s to hoping someday Google returns to producing software that I can depend on instead of software prone to pissing me off more often than not.

Searching for an image of Penny’s computerized book, I was delighted to come across: 16 REAL MODERN TECHNOLOGIES PREDICTED BY INSPECTOR GADGET.

While I might choose more modern analogs; like a tablet rather than a laptop. I'm still thrilled that someone actually wrote such an article. And to be fair nearly a decade ago, phones and tablets were still quite young when it was written.

Don't think I've really watched the series since the early 2000s or late 90s, about the last time I can recall the reruns being in the air back when I watched normal TV. But still bugs me that I couldn’t recall much of what Penny’s book looked like without looking it up, lol.

 In the words of a literary character, “Mischief managed.”

Managed to be smart and both warm up the oven AND the ground beef, and leave the other stuff set aside. With plenty of time to let the oven do its thing. The number one reason I’ve rarely made  meatloaf I’m recent years, is it takes a good while to cook if you do it right. On work days that usually means an hour later than empty bellies want to wait.

Willow and company of course hate that the pecking order is dinner, and then their nest treats.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

 “Why am I never that comfortable? I must be doing this wrong...”

Monday, December 21, 2020

 Overall Dragon Quest 11 has made me chuckle more than a few times in the course of its story. Especially involving Rab.

Most of the best chuckles have been somewhat out of place bits involving bunny girls. Well, depending on whether or not he already reminded you of Master Roshi by the first gag.

The bit with the naughty stick however is just so deliciously fitting and humorous!

Friday, December 18, 2020

Google’s solution to the end of Hangouts is Messages. My solution to this problem has been, “Screw that”.

For the majority of my use case my SMS roll through my tablet. A process that Hangouts, as meh as a chat app is it has always been: handled well. In the years prior, I had relied on a Bluetooth connection between my Android phone and tablet to make the magic happen. In the post Hangouts world, I pretty much just relied on its integration.

Google Fi and Hangouts started the GTFO and use Messages push a week or two ago. Since Hangouts ends in January, I decided to give it a go and see how good the results would be. Well, an iPhone SE is how well that experiment went.

Using the web version on my tablet shifts from how Meh the current iteration of Hangouts is to “And why the frak am I using this?”. I figured, at least, it had to be worth while on my phone. Whether it’s the natural way it works, or an aspect of Google Fi: Messages sucks ass on my Moto X4. I dislike using the web version; I despise using the Android version. Even more so where the combination of web + phone often leads me to to using multiple profanities when the phone eventually catches up.

Originally, I had assumed that I would be using android messages when I upgraded from my old Galaxy S5 to the Moto X4. But most messages arriving through Hangouts rather than that, pretty much lead to me ignoring it. Not broke, don’t care. Well, at least for a few more years at that time.

My primary computer when I’m not doing real work is a tablet. Many of the Android tablets I’ve used ended up full blown keyboard/mouse/monitor driven workstations on top of being my general purpose tablet. Thus my phone doesn’t really see a lot of use.

Typically I use my phone when:

  • Checking off my shopping list at the grocery store.
  • I’ve gone to bed, and it’s easier to reach for my phone than my tablet to answer messages or read Wikipedia with one eye open.
  • I’m standing in the checkout line at the grocery store.
  • Waiting on food at the microwave at work.
  • Suddenly need a calculator or a stop watch, and other things that were cool on a wristwatch when I was a kid.
  • The rare times I actually want a one hand device more than a better device.
  • The few times I rely on Maps to make sure I don’t take a wrong turn.
  • The every few years I’m driving out of range of my favorite radio tower, and choose to jack a playlist into my car’s head unit.
In effect this means my phone represents 10 - 15 % of my non-productivity minded computing, and aside from answering messages in the middle of the night: I’m usually found on my tablet or I’m occupied and not available. Since I’m usually using a tablet, my phone’s data use represents an average of up to a hundred megabytes of cellular data. Drastically down from the years where I averaged several gigabytes.

Apple’s iMessage doesn’t really interest me. But it does two things for me. It fixes the suck-ass experience of using my iPad Pro with Google’s new plan for my Messages, and it makes me not want to flip my phone out a window whenever I wait for messages to sync back up 🤣.

Thus Bean Sprout has been retired in favor of Benimaru. So named because the Project (RED) design reminds me of Rimiru’s commander in chief in TenSura.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

 Someday, computer shit will actually just work.

I'm pretty sure that will be the day the first Terminator rolls off SkyNet's assembly line.

That I sit here fucking with Google and Apple things, both those sentences give my sense of humour a perverse tickle to the funny bone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Now this sounds like some good news, in a year that most people haven’t had much good news. Well, unless maybe you’re a family owned and operated toilet paper factory or the like. But mostly, yeah.

Here’s to humanity and our stubbornness to keep on loving’

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Every now and then, I kind of wish I had a camera capturing what I see. This morning was one of those breakfasts.

I often make frozen sausages with breakfast on the weekends, so that I can share with the hounds. Microwave, slice up, and vola. Well this morning was some roll off the counter, like a my ooor meatball impression. Corky nabbed it and trotted off. Had to grab hold and with my nose on his head, convince him to let go of the frozen sausage. There were teeeth marks where he resisted this, lol. Should probably just be glad his tongue didn’t get stuck to it.

As an apology, tasty dog treats were issued before breakfast, and Corky got the first helping of sausage.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Endeavoring to get the Christmas tree done, I opted to reach for one of my favorite holiday films: A Christmas Story. Affectionately known in my family as “Ralphy.”

I’m not sure if my mother tended to think about her parents a lot when we were decorating for Christmas, or if she was too busy with us little hooligans, but I tend to think about my parents as I put up the tree. Pretty much my entire life: we’ve watched Ralphy. It’s long been a tradition of sorts for me to catch it at least once during the Christmas marathon, often in bits and pieces. It never really seems like Christmas time without that.

For me, it’s got a double meaning of sorts. See, the film is so exactly a reflection of the world that my momma grew up in that hearing about that itself was kind of like a Christmas tradition itself. It was kind of her way of sharing a piece of her childhood with her own children. To even fathom how many references to her childhood there is in the film, we’d probably have to enumerate just how much ‘stuff’ is shown in Ralphy, lol.

Must of heard all the stories a thousand times over growing up, but I never really got tired of hearing her share that with us.

Friday, December 4, 2020

Sunday, November 29, 2020

 Another picture of comfort.

 Signs that I really liked a game: when I’ll buy it on another platform.

Resident Evil 0 was probably on sale when I bought it on Steam. Mostly, I got it because it would be the most like what I grew up with: the original Resident Evil, dual shock, and director’s cut editions. While I had very mixed feelings about Resident Evil HD, since it invalidates everything I remember: I really enjoyed zero. Haven’t cared too much for most of the series since the original trilogy, and had never played zero.

Thus, seeing it on Xbox sale for $ brainer. The only real negative from my time with it on Steam was how hard it is to actually hit the giant ass bat

Saturday, November 28, 2020

 Comfy levels must be over 9000....

Apple’s M1 MacBook Air has that Apple Silicon magic

The M1 laptops cresting the horizon are a unique view for me. See, my iPad Pro is the first, and to date, only Apple product I’ve ever owned. Even then it was only partly by choice. But ever since my first Android tablet, the Asus Eee PAD Transformer TF01: I’ve desired to see ARM based laptops and desktops be a real thing.

Thus it is safe to say that I find Apple’s new Macs intensely interesting in a way I haven’t looked at them in years. Back when there was no real alternative to the MacBook Air, I found the machine interesting; along with the desire for a Retina screen on the smaller model. I don’t think there’s ever really been a MacBook Pro released that I cared about, on that end of the spectrum we’d have to look backwards to the Power era for me to largely give half a fuck. Most of Apple’s computers are simply too expensive for my tastes, which usually ends all temptation from square one.

I find it interesting how times have changed. The new Air would be a great laptop for my traditional use cases. Not so much a development system though. As hardware it’s a super win, as software not so much.

But there’s the real caveat. For most that I really do with laptops that warrants such a price tag: I need Linux x86-64 software compatibility. Plus, I have a strong desire for 32 GB of memory with how much pressure my 16 GB Latitude has been under for years. In fact, above xterm level there’s it much about macOS that I actually care about compared to NT or Android. The best reason to buy a MacBook in my views have generally been if OS X is your bag, and most folks I’ve known who fit that bill, live in their GUI. For me the only reason to care about macOS is that it’s got Unix underpinning it’s shit.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

While my afternoon could probably be summed up by Star Wars; Squadrons, Willow was incredibly smart and took a sublimly comfortable nap.

I planned ahead what my cooking schedule would look like, so I wouldn’t have to worry much about defrosting time, prep, cooking, or resting times. Likewise the order to do things. Momma did teach me a thing or two in the kitchen 👍. Willow on the other hand stole the show for cuteness.

Growing up my my mother only made turkey once a year, and decided if she was working so hard: she was going to make a huge turkey. Whether it was four of us, or two of us, what that really meant was an average of 22 lbs of bird every thanksgiving. Every year, I’d usually make light of that, lol. Left to my own devices sometimes I don’t even make turkey for thanksgiving.

Since it’s just me, and three hungry dogs: I opted to get the smallest turkey breast I could find. Still too damned much food, lol. Combined with the side dishes, I’m pretty sure that I could have fed another three people.

One of the things my brother’s first marriage brought into our family traditions was green bean casserole. Something that yet survives, and fills bellies. When you’re choking down turkey for weeks, you learn to appreciate the sides, lol.

The family sized package of four cheese mashed potatoes was definitely a good plan. Kroger turkey gravy on the other hand is some of the most salty gravy I’ve ever tasted. Compared to my mother’s thanksgiving plans, my selection of food is rather modest and simple. She often made so much, you could probably have fed the neighborhood for a day instead of us for weeks.

Needless to say, my solution to the holiday resulted in a very full belly. Despite ample pre-dinner snackage, Willow tried to steal turkey twice. It’s probably a good thing I kept their share towards the edge, lol.

The hungry minions were very well fed with their share of turkey. Which is kind of special, because I rarely will make turkey. They really, really love turkey and chicken; and Willow is especially inclined to pilfer fish.

Plus I had bought a can of something yummy for their post dinner treat.

We are all full now. But they will forget this whenever I reach for the cake I baked last night....

 Passing thought: spending thanksgiving morning knee deep in the dead, playing doom. Unsure if I’m getting old, or just have really good taste in how to pass time waiting for downloads to finish 😆

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Why Apple’s M1 chip will make your PC games run faster

While I’d say the title sucks, this was a surprisingly nice article.

For me the attraction of ARM has generally been the power efficiency rather than the raw performance. Intel has had to squeeze it’s ass down the don’t chainsaw the battery life to death until you’re actually under load path. Something they’ve done pretty well; modern x86 processors tend to last a long ass time until you start demanding the heavy duty performance. A fair trade if you want a laptop with both practical battery life and serious performance. Meanwhile ARM processors I’ve used have put x86 to shame in terms of endurance, and they’ve had to squeeze their ass down the track of delivering heavy duty performance.

Personally, I’m not highly attached to x86. My focus on Unix systems means my cart is hitched to the source compatibility wagon. Where PCs have long tended to favor the ease of running someone else’s compiled binaries ad nauseum. I’ve been hoping that Microsoft’s greater push at Windows on ARM will eventually shove the PC world away from a single ISA family.

From the prospect of Linux, my experience has best been summarized as user space is just honky dory, and damn you graphic drivers. That is to say, things like hardware accelerated rendering and decoding have been more problematic, but for most things it still amounts to apt-get and move on.

Monday, November 9, 2020

 Tonight's movie was one I haven't seen in quite a few years: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Still as great a film as I remember.

Most movies from the time period: I find tend to have a rather upbeat tone. Mr. Smith leads in with much of that upbeatness, and uses it to build something much darker as it crushes Stewart's character like an egg. Brings tears to my eyes when Sander's finds Smith at the memorial: ready to call it quits on all that huuy, and she encourages him to stand up and fight.

The good natured everyman isn't a rare character in Capra's films back then. But Jeff Smith is a curious one. Ever first to admit he shouldn't be there: he's quickly sucked in to a vacuum and torn apart by the political machine running his state. Edward Arnold and Claude Rains serve as the film's direct villain's, respectively as Jim Taylor the shots caller and Joseph Paine the Senator.

I kind of like how it shows the latter as beyond redemption. Senior Senator Paine quickly toes the machine's line with every bit the villainy shy of physical assault, yet the good trickles through. He may have become compromised over the years, but isn't so far gone as to be himself, a lost cause. Combined these lend a lot of weight to the big finish as Smith is hauled off the Senate floor.

Hmm, what was it Superman used to say? Truth, justice, and the American way? Yeah. Something like that. Makes sense that at the time, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington wasn't well regarded by our Senate. On the flip side it also makes sense that The Library of Congress picked it as one of the first films for the NFR's preservation effort.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Chili with some leftover noodles mixed in, and a prewarmed load of cheese on top, was definitely a great dinner plan.

I promised Willow the wait would be worth it.

Also pretty sure that for a can of meat and gravy bits, she would do a backflip if she knew how and thought it would get her an extra helping.

Over compensating: when a power nap on the couch replaced your entire day’s coffee intake, and the concept of an after dinner coffee sounds even more appealing than normal.

Usually I stop with the coffee some hours before dinner, for fear of not sleeping; despite my love of coffee, lol.

Monday, November 2, 2020

 How the goonie birds spent the weekend.

Next time I buy pillows, I think I’m going to put an old one in that corner, with how much Corky likes it for his nappy spot during the day.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

After 20 years of service, the Space Station flies into an uncertain future

I’m curious what the future holds. A long time ago, I felt that planning to run the ISS for such a short period was disappointing compared to the costs. You could say that I’m still inclined to believe it should remain, whether that’s systematically replacing things or building anew.

Personally, I’m impressed that humanity has managed to pull off the International part in International Space Station so well. Certainly, it’s been a better outlook than our ancestors had. Hmm, I wonder how many people built bomb shelters back in the ‘

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope

When encountering it on Xbox, I found the first entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan a superb adventure game. Enough so that after finishing it: I pre-ordered the second entry on the spot. I can understand why they targeted Halloween weekend as the launch for The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope. The game has a rather gruesome opening prologue before meeting up with the survivors of the bus wreck. It's content is kind of ideal for Halloween, and I've been looking forward to it all month.

My Halloween plans pretty much were eat cake, and play Xbox. 'Cuz even I need a day off once in a while, lol.

Early on Little Hope feels like things are a bit less heavy on the Quick Time Events (QTEs), given the shift from holy crap, pirates! Over to demons that go bump in the night as the main threat to your lives. Didn't expect the twist at the end to make such crystal sense of everything that happened, but it was well executed. Whether intentional, or just my own attitude, it made the feeling of having had enough of the demons confronting the characters, and opting for more a aggressive approach: seem rather appropriate to the story. How it impacts the significance of characters surviving, well, made me feel a little less bad about missing a QTE and losing one on the way to the house. Some aspects of the gameplay may take advantages of people who paid attention in Man of Medan, or just be ready to oopsie you the same way over; it's hard to tell.

Sounds like there are plans for a third game in The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes. I'll probably be nabbing that when it comes out. Definitely a very fun game series.

Friday, October 23, 2020

 Pretty sure that Willow’s reaction here is “Did someone say food?”

Monday, October 19, 2020

The 1985 movie Clue only has one real, viable ending — and it isn’t the ‘good’ one

While I think that’s a pretty clever concept for a fourth ending, I think I rather like the traditional third ending. Both because it amuses me greatly, and because it makes the most sense of a farcical situation.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

The week in pictures

 Aside from the general busy level and workalcoholism, I think this largely sums things up.

Test of new socks: AWESOME. I've put off buying new socks for so long that it feels like clouds instead of boots. Also willow doesn't understand why she doesn't get a post-walk treat before I take my boots off, and after.

Pretty sure she demands pretzel sticks.

Misty wanting attention.

Willow wondering why Misty gets the crane service and the chair.

Sometimes: I am a dog chair.

Willow reminding me that her pretzel stick bribes are required for midnight snackage.

The kind of looks I get when getting dressed for work.

It's amazing Willow didn't dive on the plate faster than I could take the picture, lol.

Wasn't sure if leftover brussels sprouts and alfredo sauce was a great idea. Combined with meatballs, it certainly is!

Willow wishes a poor meatball would roll off the table, on the floor, or just straight into her mouth.

Yes, Willow, I know you wants treats.

Sometimes you've just gotta splurge :)

Pretty sure the dogs are smarter than I am when it comes to how to spend an afternoon.

Best part of chili mac is definitely eating chili mac.

Comfort level: over 9000!